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Part-time employment is a formalized work arrangement where an employee works fewer hours than what an employer judges to be customary for a full-time employee. For legal and comparative purposes, the U.S. Department of Labor defines part-time employees as those working 1-34 hours during a typical work week and full-time employees as those working 35 or more hours during a typical work week. In 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that part-time employment status was held by about 17 percent of the U.S. labor force. This percentage is likely to increase and is particularly strong in the service and retail employment sectors. In addition, universities report that increasing numbers of their student now hold part-time positions while attending school.
This book chapter is published as Morrow, P.C.; 2006. Part-time employment. In Jeffrey H. Greenhaus and Gerard A. Callanan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Career Development, Volume 2; 613-616. Thousand Oaks, CA. Posted with permission.